Innovative youth driver program gets teenagers behind the wheel
 
TORONTO, ONTARIO – July 21, 2011 - Russ Bond Agency’s (RBA) announced today that the Toyota Canada Inc. supported kartSTART (www.kartSTART.ca) program will kick off this summer at Innisfil, Ontario. kartSTART is an innovative young driver program that puts Canadian youth as young as 12 years-old behind the wheel of a go-kart for their first driving experience.
 
“I couldn’t be more thrilled about this announcement,” Bond said. “It wouldn’t have happened without the support of Toyota. They gave us an opportunity to educate even more young drivers on the physics of a motorized vehicle.”
 
"With a relentless focus on safety that is built into every vehicle, Toyota also extends its commitment to driver's safety education,”said Sandy Di Felice, Director, Toyota Canada. “As a proud supporter of kartSTART, Toyota values the innovative and fun approach to teaching youth safe driving skills."
 
RBA’s kartSTART program is a one-day driving course aimed at the entire family. Kids as young as 12 are given their first driving experience behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle that fits them, conducted within a safe, controlled program.
 
“Karts are ideal for kids to get their first driving experience,” Mike Goodyear, Chief Instructor for the kartSTART program said. “We take the kids through the same ASN Canada FIA approved initial training program that we have put hundreds of kids through in our youth orientated program, the Canadian Karting League (www.canadiankartingleague.com).”
 
Goodyear, who is the brother of former Canadian Indycar star Scott Goodyear also commented on the need for this type of program for kids.
 
“Driving is basically a two part operation,” Goodyear said. “The first part is learning about how a car acts when you turn, when you brake and when you accelerate.  At kartSTART we teach kids the physics of how a car works and reacts to your inputs. We want them to learn to control a motorized vehicle, and that is easier to do in a kart, that is their ‘size’ instead of a full sized car.”
 
The kartSTART program involves the whole family. “After the kids have spent the morning in the karts, we introduce the entire family to the safety systems of today’s cars. We use Toyota products and we not only teach them about the safety systems of the Toyota Star Safety system, we also demonstrate the systems for them – it is something the whole family benefits from,” Goodyear said.
 
About kartSTART
KartSTART is a unique family driving education program that is designed to give teenagers and their families a true – real world – understanding of the physics behind driving a motorized vehicle.  The goal at kartSTART is twofold: firstly, to give young drivers their first experience behind the wheel, and secondly; to give the entire family a better understanding of current vehicle safety systems operate.  
The one-day kartSTART course gives youngsters – 12 and up – a driving experience in vehicles that fit them: go-karts. Expert instructors give new drivers a clear understanding behind the physics and dynamics of driving a motorized vehicle in a closed course environment.
In addition, the families that attend our kartSTART program are mentored in the latest safety developments in passenger vehicles. kartSTART uses Toyota to demonstrate the operation of Toyota’s  onboard Star Safety System.   This gives the entire family a better understanding of how to make the most of these technologies which are standard across the entire Toyota lineup.
 
About Toyota Canada Inc.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, SUVs and trucks. Toyota is the first full-line manufacturer to make all of the elements of the Star Safety System standard on every 2011 vehicle. The Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). TCI’s head office is in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver.
 
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For more information on kartSTART, please visit www.kartSTART.ca or email info@kartstart.ca